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4 January 2007
Former School of Hardin Knocking

Until June, with the exception of the year she played professional basketball in Germany, home to Gerlonda Hardin was everything within about 30 miles of Austin Peay.

She grew up a half-hour east of the campus and then went to school there, becoming one of the Lady Govs' all-time great basketball players.

Given those deep roots, it's understandable the Jacksonville State women's assistant coach would have mixed emotions tonight at Pete Mathews Coliseum when she sees Austin Peay on a jersey for the first time as the enemy.

“To me, it's a symbolic game,” Hardin said. “It's going to be different. It's going to be real odd. I don't know how out of place (it's going to feel). I'm kind of nervous about it … excited, too.

“But I'm here at JSU now, and we're trying to get a win. It's not a matter of who's wearing what jersey.”

No one on the Gamecocks' bench tonight will know more about Peay than Hardin. She spent four NCAA Tournament seasons with the Lady Govs as a player and another as a graduate assistant coach.

She left as the school's all-time leading rebounder (982) and shot-blocker (223) and second-leading scorer (1,863 points). Her school-record .618 career field-goal percentage also ranks 22nd in NCAA history.

Hardin was the 2004 Ohio Valley Conference Female Athlete of the Year, the '03-04 OVC Women's Basketball Player of the Year, a three-time All-OVC pick and a two-time OVC Tournament MVP.

See story at The Anniston Star's website: .

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